Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Note Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:29 pm

1. Golden Axe II (GEN)
2. Time Crisis [Special Mode] (PS1)
3. Streets of Rage (GEN)
4. Time Crisis: Project Titan (PS1)
5. Rayman Origins (360)
6. Borderlands (360)
7. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)*
8. King of Dragons (SNES)
9. Wild Guns (SNES)
10. Star Fox (SNES)
11. Guardian Heroes (SS) [2x]*
12. World of Illusion (GEN)
13. Raiden Fighters Jet (360)
14. Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive (360)*
15. Streets of Rage 3 (GEN)
16. Street Fighter III: Third Strike (Xbox)*

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17. Mushihimesama Futari (360)

I've been spending a good amount of time playing shmups the past few weeks and after playing through some of the Raiden games on the 360, I wanted to give a few other 360 shmups a go since the console has an extensive amount and I have a comfortable Hori EX stick to play the genre. Futari was a game I was interested in when I first heard about its release. My friend ended up purchasing the game around that time and we used to play it co-op at his place, but I didn't get a chance to play it enough back then to get decent at the game. I finally picked up my own copy recently and have been playing it a bit almost every night since.

For anyone not familiar with Futari, it's a sequel to the original Mushihimesama game and in the vertical bullet hell style of shmups. It follows the formula that the developer Cave is known for which consists of intricate bullet patterns the player must weave through, but the game has precise controls to help with this aspect. The player also has access to two different weapons, with the second stronger laser weapon slowing your dragon down, which helps the player weave through the various waves of bullets.

The game is on the shorter side, clocking in at only five levels but the disc is packed with a variety of different modes, which makes up for the short game, IMO. The various modes include arcade, an Xbox 360 mode, a novice mode, and a score attack mode. There's also three difficulty settings titled which change up the bullet patterns titled original, maniac, and ultra. Due to the inclusion of so many modes and difficulty settings, I think this game has a lot to offer for players of different skill sets and may be a good place to start for players new to the bullet hell genre. I was able to finish the game on one of the easier settings and now practicing some of the tougher modes.

Different than most shmups, the game has a fantasy theme with the character sprites being a person riding a dragon and the enemies consisting of insects and the bosses being different animals. Cave did a great job with the character sprites, as your sprite has a circular icon in the middle, letting you know exactly where your hitbox is. The boss sprites are also large and impressive, with each level having a mid-boss and another boss at the end of the level. The soundtrack to Futari is very impressive and is one of my favorite aspects of the game. The composers did a great job and the music is good enough that I could listen to it outside of the game.

For anyone with access to a 360 and a fan of shmups, I definitely recommend Mushihimesama Futari. The game is great with impressive graphics, energetic music, precise controls, couch co-op, and the variety of modes brings a lot of replay value. I'm looking forward to checking out more recent games by Cave. Give this one a go if you haven't yet!
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:08 pm

That's a great game. Probably the best vertical Cave shmup.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:30 pm

1. Horace (Switch)
2. Ghostrunner (Switch)
3. Mickey’s Adventure in Numberland (NES)
4. Mickey’s Safari in Letterland (NES)
5. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross (3DS)
7. World of Illusion starring Mickey & Donald (Genesis)
8. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
9. Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
10. Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
11. Portal 2 [co-op] (PS3)
12. Operencia: The Stolen Sun (Switch)
13. The Knight of Queen (Switch)
14. Q.U.B.E. - Director’s Cut (PS3)
15. What the Golf?! (Switch)
16. Prune (iOS)
17. Kenshō (iOS)
18. For the Frog the Bell Tolls (GameBoy)

For the Frog the Bell Tolls is a charming, portable adventure game I played for this month’s really fun TR. I wrote about it a lot in the TR thread. (If you haven’t participated yet, you should check it out. People are playing some really fun, interesting games this month!)
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:07 pm

1. Richard Scarry's Huckle and Lowly's Busiest Day Ever (Pico)
2. Countermeasure (Atari 5200)
3. Alex Kidd: High-Tech World (Sega Master System)
4. Kirby's Dream Land 2 (Game Boy)
5. Night Stalker (Intellivision)
6. Space Battle (Intellivision)
7. Utopia (Intellivision)
8. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Intellivision)
9. Kirby Super Star (SNES)
10. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)
11. Kirby Slide (e-Reader)
12. Super Mario Maker 2 (Switch)
13. Love Hina Advance: Shukufuku no Kane wa Harukana (Game Boy Advance)
14. Seirei Gari (Famicom)
15. Chaos;Head (PC)
16. Sanma no Meitantei (Famicom)
17. Giana Sisters DS (DS)
18. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
19. Akira (Famicom)

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With a 1995 release date, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is one of those late-era first-party SNES games: large, detailed, and buoyed by some notable cutting edge computer tech (in this case, the utilization of the Super FX2 chip). As the title indicates, this was intended to be a sequel to the absolutely phenomenal launch platformer Super Mario World.... but was it really? Yoshi's Island boasts a whole new set of gameplay conventions, and is very much analogous to Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land -- though these games are ostensibly installments of the Mario series, both Wario and Yoshi "spun off" and "did their own thing" after these initial releases.

The story of Yoshi's Island is a humorous one, chiefly because of how unexpected and bizarre the plot is. The game is in fact a prequel of sorts, taking place during an era where Mario and Luigi were still babies. As a stork flies across the sky to deliver the infants to doting new parents, the Koopa sorcerer Kamek intervenes, grabbing Luigi and casting Mario towards the earth. Mario is rescued by Yoshi, as Kamek soon realizes he missed a baby. As Kamek dispatches his fiendish pals to grab Mario, the baby and Yoshi (actually, an army of "Yoshies") begin a quest to infiltrate Kamek's domain and rescue Luigi. The action all occurs on the titular "island" which consists of six worlds, each broken down into various stages.

Yoshi's Island is a 2D platformer, where the player controls (a) Yoshi with Mario on his back. The controls are quite good, from a technical standpoint, and completely divorced from any Mario game seen previously. There's no run button, as Yoshi simply trots at his own measured pace. Yoshi can jump and then "flutter jump" -- this is a sort of neutered double jump that keeps the dinosaur in the air for a split second longer. It's useful for a great many things, primarily positioning when making tricky jumps and extending Yoshi's leap over long chasms. Flutter jumps can be strung together, but Yoshi will drop a bit lower each time one is initiated, as Yoshi is not a true flier like Kirby. There's a ground pound, something that would become a staple of future Nintendo platformers, which can be used to clear out soft terrain and plunge obstacles into the soil. But it's the offensive maneuvers that truly make the experience unique. Yoshi has a long tongue, which can be used to grab various enemies. They can then be spit directly out as a projectile attack, though this is rarely useful. It's best to have Yoshi swallow his foes; upon doing so he will lay eggs (problem, paleontologists?). Eggs, of which six can be carried, can then be tossed. This isn't done in the typical run and gun style, however. Instead, a cursor that arcs in a semi-circle is displayed onscreen. Once an egg is positioned properly it can then be launched at its intended target. It's a bit of a clunky process that requires the player bring Yoshi to a standstill. As such, it's often best to rely on Yoshi's tongue as the primary method of attack while saving the eggs for clearing pathways and knocking down hovering items.
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In lieu of the traditional "health" system seen in Mario games, where one or two hits equals certain death, Yoshi's Island opts instead for a rather ingenious "rechargeable" system not too dissimilar from Sonic's rings. It works like this: when Yoshi is hit by an enemy, Mario goes flying off his back (encased in a bubble, somehow) and a timer begins ticking down. If Yoshi is unable to retrieve Mario before the timer hits zero, then some of Kamek's underlings will snag him and one life is lost. If Yoshi successfully grabs Mario the timer slowly ticks back up to its maximum number of allotted "seconds" (and the maximum can be increased by collecting star icons in each stage). Whenever Mario is separated from his dino pal, he cries. It's one of the most brutally irritating noises ever emitted by the SNES soundchip, and this sobbing, not the threat of Game Over, is what really conditions the player to improve their skills.

The stages of Yoshi's Island truly feel like "events" -- they're lengthy, memorable, each with a distinct "name" given beyond the standard "1-1" and so on. There are no stage time limits, and no status bar of any kind is displayed onscreen (though the star/timer number pops up if Yoshi is hit or if he stands motionless for a bit). There is, however, a screen-filling menu that appears when pressing start, detailing all the pertinent statistics. For the most part, the stages are designed quite well. They often offer up branching paths and multiple avenues to success (while rarely feeling mazelike) plus a plethora of well-utilized elements: locked doors, switch puzzles, breakable scenery, and so forth. Occasionally the developers went a bit too heavy on the spikes (ah, is this where it all started?) and pitfalls. Given how forgiving the "baby Mario" system typically is, most deaths will be of the spike/pit variety, though there are some stretches where annoying terrain layout makes it tough to reach to reach a floating baby. The enemy selection is unexpected. There are tons of Shy Guys straight out of Super Mario Bros. 2 (the American one) and precious few Koopa Troopas. Many enemies can be eaten, though some are impervious to Yoshi's tongue and must be smacked around with eggs instead. There are bonus games scattered here and there. Some can be unlocked within stages while others appear upon successful stage completion: these provide ample opportunity to rack up extra lives, as does the option to revisit the earliest and easiest levels.

Boss battles are excellent, arguably the highlight of the game. Gone are the "jump on this guy three times" skirmishes, now since replaced by some seriously engaging encounters. Comically, every boss begins as a "normal" enemy before being enlarged by Kamek's magic. Behold Burt the Bashful, who only surrenders once his pants have been unthreaded and dissolved; Sluggy the Unshaven, a blob who must be worn down until his heart is exposed and pummeled; and Raphael the Raven, who is battled on a small rotating moon. Bosses appear every four stages, so there's two per world. Strangely, and in spite of some truly grandiose visuals, the final boss battle is arguably the weakest, featuring some odd mechanics that don't show up elsewhere in the game and don't feel quite as refined as they should be.
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As far as weaknesses go, Yoshi's Island has some issues with pacing. There are some specific stages, especially towards the journey's end, that are patently overindulgent and just way too long. The game additionally features the occasional "transformation" (where Yoshi can become a helicopter, mole tank, submarine, train, or automobile) but these were integrated poorly. The vehicle controls are very, very clumsy and, for some reason, the transformation segments are timed. Such time limits are quite strict, and if Yoshi doesn't complete a given segment within the allotted time he's send back to the beginning. But the biggest sin committed pertains to how the game handles secrets. This is especially frustrating because Super Mario World did things perfectly: a singular object (a key) leads to a tangible reward (the opportunity to play a hidden stage) and all of this is preceded by a hint (stages with keys are color-coded red on the world map). In contrast, Yoshi's Island is one of the earliest platformers to embrace the dreaded "collectathon" style. Want to unlock those hidden environments? First grab the thirty stars, twenty red coins, and five flowers available in each stage. It's obscene. To make matters worse, these items aren't simply tucked away but are often only available during brief windows of time. For instance, there are flying Shy Guys that dangle red coins in front of Yoshi for a matter of seconds. Miss one and prepare to start the level all over for another shot. It isn't worth it anyway, those secretive stages aren't any more entertaining than the mandatory ones.

Of course, the most striking element of Yoshi's Island is the visual style. The game looks incredible. It's objectively one of the most gorgeous things to grace the SNES with its rich and bold crayon-style pastel colors. Some of the backgrounds are so smooth they barely look pixelated; it's like the game is being played in front of a drawing. There are many layers of parallax scrolling, perfectly implemented and never distracting. And the animation is some of the most fluid seen in an SNES game: each individual enemy type possesses its own unique gait and movement style. The whole package is just a marvel to gaze upon. As for the accompanying soundtrack: it's alright. The tunes are charming and suit the game's art style well, but this isn't Koji Kondo's best work. There aren't any absolute bangers here, which is in sharp contrast to previous Mario titles where every song was an earworm.

In conclusion, Yoshi's Island is, more than anything else, one of the most ambitious platformers of its era. It stumbles here and there, but the core gameplay is exemplary and most of its faults are found within content that is either short-lived or downright optional. It doesn't quite measure up to its direct predecessor (or the other classic mainline Mario titles, really) but it stands as a solid game in its own right. Required playing for anyone interested in the SNES.

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Akira (Taito, 1988) is a licensed title, released several months after the hit movie it's based on. The film, by the way, is a mandatory watch. It's absolutely groundbreaking, one of the best cyberpunk stories ever written and certainly one of the slickest pieces of Japanese animation. Anyway, Akira (talkin' about the game now) is an early menu-driven adventure game, with enough uninterrupted narration to make it a primordial visual novel. It was fan-translated for English-speaking audiences in 2012. Movie tie-in games typically have a poor reputation, which isn't entirely unwarranted, but Akira remains one of the strongest adventure titles to be found on Nintendo's 8-bit hardware.

To reiterate, the film should certainly be viewed before one attempts the game. The game's plot is a highly truncated variant of the film's story. A dystopian Neo-Tokyo is marked by non-stop violence, gang wars, poverty, and government corruption. One of the central protagonists, Kaneda, is the young leader of a motorcycle gang. While battling a rival gang, Kaneda's buddy Tetsuo crashes into an esper (an individual with extrasensory perception) who had recently escaped from government custody. The esper is recaptured by the Japan Self-Defense Forces, along with Tetsuo who soon begins developing abilities of his own. Meanwhile, Kaneda joins with anti-government forces to infiltrate the state's headquarters and rescue the espers. The story's climax sees a marauding Tetsuo desperately searching for the elusive Akira, said the be the most powerful esper of all. One critical difference between the game's plot compared to the film's, in addition to the requisite abridgment, is the fact that the game's narrative unfolds via the first-person viewpoint of Kaneda. Thus, any scenes from the film that didn't feature Kaneda (such as the hallucinatory hospital attack scene) have been omitted from the game.

Progression through Akira is about what one would expect. The player selects options from menus (such as talk, peek, or inquire), with the pertinent choices leading to game progression and erroneous choices leading to failure. There's a small twist to the formula that makes Akira stand out from its contemporaries. Available choices vary by scene, and completely irrelevant options are omitted. So, for instance, if the scene doesn't involve fighting then Kaneda won't be able to select the "hit" command from the menu. If there's no one to speak to there will be no "talk" option, and so forth. It removes a lot of guesswork, not the mention the dreaded "you can't do that here" text. That isn't to say there are no "wrong" choices to be made, however. The game features some cheapo instant deaths and dead ends for those who head down treacherous pathways or proceed foolishly. Thankfully, the penalty is light, as the player is simply kicked back to the beginning of a given scene, or granted a password should they decided to quit and return later on. Akira also boasts the inclusion of multiple endings. One occurs prematurely while a couple of the others reference the manga (not the film), which is an unexpected little touch. There are additionally a few branching pathways, optional conversations, and elements of randomization. All told, Akira contains significantly more depth than most other 8-bit adventure titles, and serves as a precursor for the sort of massive visual novels that would begin appearing in the twenty-first century.
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Occasionally, the game flow is broken up by some brief rail shooter action scenes where Kaneda must battle the government forces. Here, the A button is used to attack, B is used to dodge, select flips Kaneda around, and the d-pad performs general movements. The controls are a little questionable. The time window in which one can score a successful hit is very, very small. Meanwhile, the "dodge" attack doesn't initiate a roll or any kind of evasive maneuver. Instead, Kaneda is simply granted invincibility for a few seconds. Though these action scenes are a bit ham-fisted and clunky, they occur so infrequently they don't impact the overall experience in any meaningful way.

The film's aesthetics were astonishing, with varied painted backdrops and an epic percussion-heavy score. As for the game, well, it does its best. The graphics are decent enough, with all characters and backgrounds being clearly recognizable. There's too much literal darkness though -- for some reason the developers decided to make the black text box absolute huge, covering half the screen, even though dialogue and narration alike are only doled out a couple of lines at a time. The music is barely there. Most scenes are silent, save for the "typewriter" sound effect that's emitted whenever text is laid out. The few tunes available are pretty average at best. The ending theme (regardless of ending) is far too corny -- it doesn't match the mood at all and sounds like it was ripped from Balloon Fight or some other cutesy "black label" title.

The game's runtime is around ninety minutes, provided one knows the proper route, which actually almost lines up with the film runtime if the no-Kaneda scenes were stripped. This isn't going to be anyone's favorite Famicom title, and it's still far removed from a true hidden gem, but Akira exceeds expectations. Fans of the film should disregard the "licensed games" stereotype and check this one out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:44 pm

Games Beaten in 2021 - 21
* denotes a replay

January (12 Games Beaten)
1. God of War - PlayStation 3 - January 1
2. God of War II - PlayStation 3 - January 2
3. God of War: Chains of Olympus - PlayStation 3 - January 3
4. God of War: Ghost of Sparta - PlayStation 3 - January 4
5. God of War III - PlayStation 4 - January 6
6. God of War: Ascension - PlayStation 3 - January 9
7. God of War [2018] - PlayStation 4 - January 16
8. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - PlayStation 4 - January 16
9. God of War: Betrayal - Mobile - January 17
10. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Switch - January 18
11. Muv-Luv photonflowers* - Steam - January 22
12. Muv-Luv photonmelodies♮ - Steam - January 27


February (5 Games Beaten)
13. Gun Gun Pixies - Switch - February 1
14. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS4 - February 8*
15. Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s - Vita - February 13
16. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4 - February 17*
17. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Steam - February 23


March (3 Games Beaten)
18. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - Steam - March 4
19. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd - Steam - March 7
20. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - PS4 - March 21


April (1 Game Beaten)
21. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - PS4 - April 5


21. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - PS4 - April 5

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After four games averaging about 60 hours each - and more for me since I took my time talking to everyone - I've finally finished the Trails of Cold Steel tetralogy. Like the Trails in the Sky trilogy before it, this series consistently achieved greatness, but it never did quite reach perfection.

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The game picks up a month or so after Cold Steel III ended, and just like the beginning of Cold Steel II, the tension starts off at max. Truthfully, the tension starts off higher in IV than it did in II, and that works to the game's benefit. While IV is just as derivative compared to II as III was compared to I, the fact that the tension starts off almost as high at the start of IV that it was at the end of III helps to shove the player into the drama first thing with very little in the way of necessary build-up. While Rean ends up being the main character again partway through the game, IV starts off with Juna as the "main" main character as she, Kurt, and Altina - with some help from Randy - try to find and reunite with Ash, Musse, and Rean who were separated from the rest of the class at the end of the third game. All of this they're doing as the Empire marches rapidly towards the prospect of a truly apocalyptic war with the Calvard Republic that would undoubtedly engulf the entire continent of Zemuria.

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One of the things that made Cold Steel IV really stand out to me even in the context of the Legend of Heroes series is that it really does tie up the entire IP. You've got three distinctive arcs in Zemuria up to this point - the Liberl trilogy (Trails in the Sky), the sadly untranslated Crossbell duology (Trails of Zero and Trails of Azure), and the Erebonia tetralogy (Trails of Cold Steel). Cold Steel IV brings all three of those strands together into one unified narrative rope by the second half of the game. Playing through III left me thinking, "Man, I really wish I had been able to play the Crossbell games," but having played through IV, I *really* wish I'd been able to play those two games because a lot of the backstory bits they drop and characters in the game would be a lot more meaningful to me if I had those two games' worth of context.

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One thing I really have to mention that the other games lack is the inclusion of a regular ending and a true ending. If you don't meet the right criteria, you get the regular ending which is a fine ending and keeps the door open for more games in this universe (which is good as there are a couple that have yet to leave Japan), but the true ending is a significantly conclusion to the story and lets you face off against the true final boss. The regular ending is fine, but the resolution feels a bit rushed and ham-handed with that ending; the true ending is obviously the ending that the game's writers always intended and definitely needs to be the ending you experience even if you have to reference a walkthrough to make sure you don't miss it.

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Mechanically, it's just more Cold Steel III, and as far as I'm concerned, that's great. It looks, sounds, plays, and feels pretty much the same. You get plenty of waifus to choose from, and the game even handles the inescapably creepy concept of choosing one of your students as your waifu as well as it can given that you're picking a student as your waifu given that Rean is their teacher. Considering that I'm a teacher, that's too much degeneracy even for me, so I restricted my waifu selection to old Class VII. Still, though, it's an option, so if you're a minor and not violently uncomfortable with the idea of a 16-year-old waifu, go for it.

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Trails of Cold Steel IV isn't quite perfect, but I'd definitely call it the best of the series, and for a series that has yet to miss in my opinion, that's pretty high praise. You get some minor bonuses for having save data from the first three Cold Steel games that you obviously can't get on Switch (unless they give the 1 and 2 ports a Western release), but the bonuses are minor enough that it's really not worth worrying about. I have to admit that I was ready for the game to be over about halfway through, but I think that's because I marathoned all three Liberl games and all four Erebonia games back to back to back; if I had just played the four Cold Steel games in a row, I doubt I would have been nearly as burnt out. I certainly didn't feel the same "oh my god, please be over" fatigue at the end of IV that I felt at the end of II. It's a solid game, and if you've played III, you'll probably play it no matter what I say just to see how that awful cliffhanger plays out.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Ack Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:40 pm

1. Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard (PC)(Adventure)
2. Revulsion (PC)(FPS)
3. Nonogram - Master's Legacy (PC)(Puzzle)
4. Sekiro (PC)(Action-Adventure)
5. Grim Dawn (PC)(Action RPG)
6. Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth (PC)(Action RPG)
7. Grim Dawn: Forgotten Gods (PC)(Action RPG)

8. Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage (PC)(FPS)
9. Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior (PC)(FPS)
10. Shrine (PC)(FPS)
11. Record of Lodoss War - Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (PC)(Adventure)

Popo talked about this earlier, but since Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth dropped towards the end of last month, I wanted to play it. It gave me two things I was looking for: a relatively short romp in the vein of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and a long tail ending to the story of Parn, Etoh, Slayn, and the rest of the original Lodoss War party. If you haven't seen the original Record of Lodoss War OVAs, well, you'll probably miss out on some of the emotional weight of what's going on. But it isn't a requirement to enjoy the game, even if it will seem unusual at times if you don't know the characters.

The player takes on the perspective of Deedlit, an immortal elf who wakes up one day to find herself in the strange world of the Wonder Labyrinth. As she explores, she finds old friends and faces old foes, but there are also a slew of monsters to fight, weapons to discover, and secrets to uncover. Well, maybe not a slew. Wonder Labyrinth is pretty short, and unless you spend some time backtracking and delving into its secrets, you'll probably get through in a few hours. I took the time to go back through and find all secret areas, gather all spells, and even pick up some of the rare or secret weapons, and my Steam clock still only rated about 10 hours...which means I spent a lot less, because I spent some of that time doing other things while the game is running. Yeah, that's why I usually don't estimate game length for you, folks.

Anyway, Deedlit will slowly level up through defeating monsters and bosses, though the benefits of doing so feel negligible. Her stats appear to improve, but not at a rate where you'll really notice, and her health and mana are not included; these require special items to increase. The biggest jumps instead come from finding new weapons. However, weapons also have types, and sometimes the weaker weapon is still superior due to range, speed, or size of your attack. Some of this will also come down to taste; I disliked daggers despite their speed and enjoyed throwing weapons despite their lower damage because of their range. But you may end up preferring the huge swords that do overhead swings. Or you may stick to the bow, which would be weird.

Yes, our elf lady has a bow, and yes, it can be used to do damage, though I found it more useful in situational capacity. Certain puzzles require using the bow to bypass, and certain enemies get much easier with it, but overall the time that you spend lining up and making certain of your aim in a fight is time you'll likely be getting hit and taking damage. And for bosses, nah, just no point, even though some of the bows have different abilities or elemental powers which would make them beneficial in combat.

Speaking of bosses, they mainly come down to learning their patterns to best, though since you can easily learn elemental strengths and weaknesses, it's usually far easier to best bosses through spamming spells that they're weak to. In fact, that's pretty much the strategy for all of them. Only in the case of multiple forms did I have trouble with regaining my mana in time; even the boss rush near the end of the game provides items to get you back up to fighting fit in an instant, making many of the battles far easier than they were the first time you faced them.

Beyond that, there is an Ikaruga-style element system in play, where you swap between a wind and fire spirit at will to power your attacks, regenerate health, and also help build up power in the spirit currently not equipped. Each spirit has three levels to build up, and when at max power, you kick ass and heal rapidly. However, taking a hit drops you a level, so you'll sometimes then immediately want to swap to the other element to regenerate and build the level back up...but not always. It depends on the enemy you face, so some strategic thinking is necessary. The rapid swapping does take a little getting used to if you haven't spent time with that mechanic, and I admit it took me a fair bit before I got the hang of it, but once I did so much of the game simply clicked in place.

I liked Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth, but at $20...look, I got it at $10 at the start of March, and I'm very happy to have paid that. You're getting a budget version of Symphony of the Night using the Lodoss War IP, but it's such a brief experience. I'll let you decide what it's worth picking up at, but if you do, I think you'll enjoy it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:53 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)

29. The Sunken City (PS4)

This is a game I had recommended to me and bought at the same time as Paper Mario: Origami King, but it took me way longer to get around to playing it (despite that fact that it arrived significantly before Paper Mario did ^^;). I had heard that it was jank, but had a lot of goodness underneath that jank, and several people whose opinions I trust told me it'd be right up my alley. They were absolutely right, and I was really happy with my time with the game, although it took me a day or two of thinking when I was done to get to the point I was happy with X3. It took me like 30-ish hours to beat the game and most sidequests at medium difficulty for both combat and mysteries. Fair warning: I will be getting into somewhat spoilery territory on my analysis of the narrative.

The Sunken City follows private detective Charles Reed. Plagued by relentless visions of otherworldly horrors whenever he sleeps, he traces similar cases of this mysterious mass hysteria to a tiny town of Oakmont off the coast of Massachusetts. Oakmont is a tiny town not on most maps, and it's also been struck by a horrible flood recently, and a lot of the city is still underwater (it being the titular sinking city). Reed quickly gets involved with one of the city's three great families, the oddly ape-like Throgmortons, as his quest for answers to the source (and hopeful cure) of his mysterious visions brings him deeper and deeper towards the cosmic horrors that lurk beneath the city.

The narrative of The Sinking City is very much inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft, and is made by people who clearly know their Lovecraft very well. Among the main quest and side quests, there are oodles of homages and references to different Lovecraft stories all building towards a greater point.
It's no secret that Lovecraft was a horrible racist, and that those fears of an impure racial/cultural unknown fueled a lot of his writings. The Sinking City goes out of its way to use a lot of his metaphors in ways that thankfully don't just parrot his awful opinions, but try to convince the player to reflect on the world they themselves inhabit. The Sinking City's narrative is ultimately a very hopeful one. Though it has the player get mired in the swamps of all of humanity's evils (from racism to xenophobia to literal klansmen (whom you get to kill the fuck out of) lynching people), there is a consistent thread that one person with good intentions, namely you, can still do something to make some small parts of the world a little bit better. It's a story about how, despite all its evils, humanity is something still worth sacrificing to save, and having the player deliberately make that CHOICE to save humanity is a big reason I forgive what could easily be seen as an oddly lazy Deus Ex-style "pick a door" ending.
In short: I really enjoyed the narrative of the game, and I think it's done really well, with lots of memorable characters and locations throughout the game.

The gameplay of The Sinking City is most easily described as "L.A. Noire but you're actually doing detective work, and the combat is a bit better (and there's no driving)." You're a private eye, and that means detective work. As you do different quests, you routinely get info that you don't really know what to make of at the moment, so you need to go to one of the archives around town to use what info you DO have to try and pinpoint your next location you should check out. Whether its information about a patient at the hospital, the location a politician might live from some interview in the newspaper, or even trying to find your next inquiry spot by looking at past murders that are similar to the current one you're investigating at the police station, you really get to feel like a detective. You even have to place your own waypoint markers on the map using the addresses the game gives you.

The game's difficulty for the mysteries starts out at the easiest one, where it actually gives you waypoints, but the way to play the game is definitely to put it to the middle one where it doesn't (or if you're feeling really brave, you can even put it to the hardest one, where you aren't even told what evidence is of key importance to even try investigating further about). Plenty of people will definitely find the detective stuff to be a bother not worth troubling themselves with. Especially the way that fast travel is limited to only between nodes and getting around the city by boat is also pretty slow and annoying, there's a lot that will come off as fairly irritable design to someone more familiar with these types of open world city games. But all in all, I think the detective stuff and city exploration is a really cool way to make the whole mystery more engaging for the player in a way other than just having an L.A. Noire-style phone call to base to be told where to go next.

You're also fighting monsters quite a lot, and for that you'll need guns, which you slowly get as you complete more and more main quests. There are only four enemy types on land, but they're very formidable opponents, as you can get downed pretty damn fast if you're not careful. Different monsters have different weak points to aim for, giving you a strategy for each kind, but generally just using powerful guns and explosives to kill the baddies works out best. There's also a crafting system where you find materials around to stop whenever to craft more ammo and supplies, and also an XP system where you can give yourself slightly better odds at combat/crafting/questing (there's even the remnants of an apparently (and thankfully) removed stealth system), but combat is definitely not the main reason to play the game. I had fun with the combat, but if you're coming for a Lovecraftian shooter first and foremost, this is definitely not the game to seek out.

I played the game on a PS4 Slim (so non-Pro hardware), and I thought it looked and sounded nice. The game generally doesn't have much music in it, and it has some really bad pop-in on this hardware, but it overall ran pretty well and has a really nice, dreary aesthetic to it. It has a heavy atmosphere to mirror the dire straits of a city on the edge of starvation, paranoia, and reality. The main character and supporting characters all have very nice designs, with Reed in particular having just such a well suited basic costume that I never thought it felt right to try putting him in the different outfits you unlock later on. It technically runs just fine too, with some troubled framerates in more crowded spaces, but otherwise being totally playable.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Though there is some seriously troubled stuff with the publisher of this game (they're really shady and awful, but thankfully the Switch version is self-published by the developers), this is a game I enjoyed too much to not recommend. I have no trouble comparing it to something like Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, in that though there is combat, and even though the mechanics can be janky, the main reason you're here is for the narrative, atmosphere, and themes. Though there certainly isn't the degree of personal choice like in VtMB, and while plenty of people will probably bounce off this game for the bumps it has (though thankfully a lot of QoL stuff has been improved since launch), if what I've described sounds like something you'd enjoy, this is absolutely a game worth hunting down and playing for yourself.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:24 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)

30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)

Lair of the Clockwork God is a game I saw recommended by someone I trust on Twitter. I'd never heard of it before, but it was recommended to emphatically and I had a bit of credit on my Switch at the time that I just had to make the jump. All I really knew about it going it was that it was somehow both a platformer and a point'n'click, and even then the game routinely threw me for a loop both mechanically and narratively. It took me about 6 or 7 hours to beat the game while getting a handful of achievements along the way.

The game follows two best friends Dan and Ben on their quest to save the world from every apocalypse at once. They return from (the tutorial) trip to South America to find a flower to cure their friend's cancer, only to return to a London embroiled in apocalypses. They manage to make it underground to the lair of the titular clockwork god, a mysterious machine that has apparently been keeping these all from happening for a long time, but had suddenly gone dormant for some reason. The two friends need to go through a series of simulations to teach the computer human emotions (via their simulated experiences) so it has the empathy required to care about humanity enough to stop all of these darn apocalypses.

This is in some ways a game to make you think, but it's also definitely here for comedy. Ben is the point'n'click character while Dan is his platforming friend, and though they're quite self-aware of the fact they're in a video game, this is the rare game that is actually funny with that premise. The humor is often very adult, to a point it routinely surprised me (especially in just how sexual the humor could get), but it was still a game I enjoyed a lot. The devs clearly know their point'n'click games, as Ben feels like he walked right out of a 90's game with just what a heartless bastard he can be XD. In his own words, "I'm not a bad person. I'm immoral, or amoral. Whatever the right one is."

Gameplay-wise, the game is about 60% point'n'clck and 30% platformer and 10% other, with the first taking up more time for the pretty easy to guess reason of adventure games just taking up more time by nature of their being a puzzle. The platforming is more-often more straightforward, but can also be pretty darn challenging at times. Thankfully, there are a ton of accessibility options for the game, with "platforming assistance" being a very nice slider to turn up or down depending on how good you are at such things. The platforming is generally pretty solid (if a little floaty at times), and the point'n'click stuff is just about always solveable, and you can thankfully never leave behind any necessary items accidentally. The two systems reinforce each other in a way where Dan moves platforms for Ben to progress, and Ben commonly makes new abilities to augment Dan's platforming skills.

The two main genres the game grapples with are very compatently done, but then there's that "other" part, and I don't really wanna spoil to much of that, as it's kinda hard to describe outside of abstracts. This is a game that seems to have a lot of things that ultimately aren't what they seem, and in that way it plays with the idea of genre in lots of weird, wacky ways. There are a lot of genuine instances of "it's not a bug, it's a feature!" in terms of how the game can feel really perplexingly designed at times (though one point I did genuinely hit a bug and have to reset the console ^^;), and it's something best experienced for yourself, I think.

The presentation is really nice, having a highly detailed and well-animated pixel-ish art style, and the music is also excellent. I know I've already said this in the review, but the people who made this really know their stuff, as the point'n'click music really fits the point'n'click sections, and the platforming section music really heckin' bops as action game tunes. The Sonic parody level in particular feels like it hopped right out of some alt-universe genuine Sonic game with how fun a song it is~.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is a really oddball game that is a shining star among the pile of indie gold on the Switch. If you're a fan of point'n'click games, this is one you absolutely should not pass up. It's as enjoyable as it is memorable, and it's one of my favorite indie titles I've played on the Switch. The person who recommended it to me so highly had every reason to do so, and now I pass that hearty recommendation on to you~.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:45 pm

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

1. EYE: Divine Cybermancy - PC
2. Legend of Grimrock - PC
3. Legend of Grimrock 2 - PC
4. Shovel Knight - Wii U
5. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - PS4
6. Yoshi's Island - SNES
7. Vectorman 2 - Genesis
8. Super Mario Sunshine - GC
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest - GC
10. Bomberman '93 - TG-16
11. Cannon Fodder - PC
12. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn
13. Dragonborne - Game Boy
14. Rock n' Roll Racing - PC
15. The Lost Vikings - PC
16. Blackthorne - PC
17. Contra III: The Alien Wars - SNES
18. Bravely Default II - Switch
19. Axelay - SNES
20. Ryse: Son of Rome - XBOne
21. Killer Instinct (2013) - XBOne
22. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition - PC
23. Thief: The Dark Project - PC
24. Killer Instinct - XBOne
25. Killer instinct 2 - XBOne
26. Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - PC
27. Thief 2: The Metal Age - PC
28. Wing Commander II - PC

Wing Commander 2 follows up the first game by providing a lot more story, but leaves the gameplay pretty much the same, with one notable exception. Well, two; they also seemed to have ditched the minefields. Just like the first the gameplay has aged extremely poorly; the best thing I can say is the framerate is much more consistent than the first game's so a fixed cycles count in Dosbox can be set such that most of the time the speed is appropriate and it only bogs down a bit when there is a LOT going on.

One thing that's notable about Wing Commander II is that it fully acknowledges both Wing Commander 1 expansions. Too bad you never beat them because they have bullshit levels of difficulty (again, a product of the game's flight engine). The most important stuff gets conveyed to you, but it does mean that there are a bunch of new pilots you won't recognize. You also won't recognize the returning pilots from the first game because they apparently broke both hands of the original character designer before putting him back to work. The goal was to try and allow the characters to emote more, but the smiles look like when the Terminator tries to smile in the second movie. It's all part of the majorly increased emphasis on story. See, in the first game you had briefings and brief chats with your fellow pilots between missions. But there wasn't really any story progression, just various missions with a bit of acknowledgement that you're either getting the good or bad ending once you lock in the final track. Here there is an actual plot.

The game starts off with the Tiger's Claw being blown away by stealth fighters. You were on patrol and missed them, because stealth. So you're the only survivor. And thanks to a contrivance you don't have any data of it. You get busted down a couple ranks for "gross negligence" and no one believes you. Because what should we think, that a decorated war hero had a bad day or that the enemy has a new weapon that could pose a major threat? Flash forward to ten years later. You're in the ass end of nowhere doing basically nothing. Events happen, you're flying again, and every single dialog includes some reference to the Tiger's Claw incident. And you fight the stealth ships three more times; the first two times there are again bullshit reasons why you don't get proof, and no one believes you even though in those missions they are literally the only fighters that appear and somehow your ship gets damaged. Finally you get proof the third time and no one apologizes. It's all part of the incredibly amateur writing featured in this game.

Let's talk gameplay. Like before it's a 2D space sim where you engage in various missions, generally of the form of going to some nav point and blowing stuff up. Like the previous game you don't have to win every mission to be on the winning track; in fact you only need to accomplish one goal per track to be a winner (and every other track on the winning path doesn't even need you to do that much). This encourages the player to not try and kill everything. The poor balance encourages it further. Wing Commander was a technical marvel at the time, but that's more indicative of just how primitive the time was. There's a few things that really hurt the game. The first is the viewport; you have visibility of approximately 1/3 of the screen, give or take a bit depending on the particular ship. Combined with the weapon ranges and you have a situation where enemies briefly show up in your view that you have to nail immediately before they are out of range again. Enemy fighters also tend to fly extremely erratically, so the net result is that many dogfights turn into major luckfests at the start; if you can whittle them down to one or two quickly you're probably going to be ok, but if not then you'll be hit from several directions at once. The AI definitely seems to understand where everything is in spatial dimensions far better than you can.

Let's talk the new stuff. The first is that some ships now have turrets. On your side the bomber has three turrets covering the sides and rear, and makes it a surprisingly capable ship (frankly, it was my favorite for general effectiveness). The heavy fighter has a single turret in the rear and it is mostly ineffective. On the enemy side their heavy fighter also has a rear turret, and it is stupidly effective. It turns fights against those fighters into a question of whether your and their turning is putting you on their side or in one of the two gun arcs. The other major change is with capital ships. Rather than just being major damage sponges, now they can only be harmed by torpedoes. Torpedoes have a very long (like, 10 second) arming time and must be released at point blank or enemy flak will take it out. It also takes two torpedoes to take out anything that requires it. This leads to a very formulaic gameplay; you stop at 11km out, the limits of your locking distance, get a full lock, then dive in an release super close before flying out. If you're in the bomber this has reduced your shields to almost nothing. If you're in the heavy fighter you used your afterburner and took almost no damage. This also means that there is essentially no way to take out cap ships with a fighter escort; since you have to fly in straight you will get straight up murdered if you leave any fighters alive. It's a mechanic that doesn't really add anything. Speaking of mechanics that don't add anything, a couple of times you need to retrieve an object floating in space. This requires you to get close, jump in a turret, and nail it with the tractor beam. It's incredibly underutilized and feels like someone added it over a weekend and they didn't bother to remove it.

Overall it is hard to recommend Wing Commander II because it is so hampered by the technical limitations of the time. The fact that it plays as well as it does is the real marvel. But there just wasn't enough computing power for what they were trying to do at the time. Remember, this engine came out in 1990. Wolf3D wouldn't come out for another two years. By that time PCs had gotten much beefier and could handle the sort of math needed to properly do a game like this.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:27 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)

31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)

This is another game I rented as a kid, liked well enough, but never finished at the time and never got back to. With the recent resurrection of Dinosaur Planet (this game's N64 original version) via dumped files and Project64, I resolved to finally play through this game to the end. Luckily, it isn't a particularly hard to find game here or terribly expensive. I got some 96% of the content done and beat the Japanese version over the course of a couple days (like 15 or 16 hours).

Star Fox Adventures sees our titular hero on the orders of General Pepper to aid the extremely troubled Dinosaur Planet. Due to an invasion of the other kingdoms by General Scales, the planet has broken apart due to him disrupting the magical energy fields the planet is (apparently literally) overflowing with. Dinosaur Planet is, unsurprisingly, populated by various tribes of talking dinosaurs, the prince of the Earth Walkers (triceratops) ends up becoming Fox's companion on this adventure. Many remarked upon this at the time and have since, but it's a very un-Star Fox-y story that is at times irritating but overall inoffensive in setting up the stakes and core action. Oddly enough, despite this being the Japanese version, there is no Japanese voice acting, with only (even for the time, kinda amazingly terrible) English voice acting accompanied by Japanese subtitles.

The gameplay plays a lot like what it is: a long-lost Rare N64 title. From the level designs to the dialogue writing to the sheer aesthetics, this really does feel like a distant cousin to things like Banjo-Tooie and DK64. Mechanically, you're going through a fairly linear 3D Zelda-sort of action adventure game, with a slew of items to aid you along with the magic staff Fox uses to beat up dinosaurs and even blast magic at them! The prince of the Earth Walkers, Tricky, is also an important mechanic to use as you guide him around to have him dig up stuff for you, but he's ultimately not actually that invasive or important a mechanic. He's there, sure, but Resident Evil 4 this is not. He usually just teleports around to wherever you need him, and it's a clever way to minimize inventory management outside of some more complicated inventory system (which the game does manage to have regardless, just not in some Ocarina of Time-like menu screen :b).

This is much more a kin of Rare's rougher N64 titles though, and in the efficacy of its overall design I'd rank it more along more decisive titles like Jet Force Gemini and Banjo-Tooie than any of their greats. For such a linear game, the signposting can be shockingly rough at times, and even when you know where to go, walking from place to place takes ages. The combat, while quite cinematic in an impressively flashy way, is ultimately super button-mashy and gets very boring and uninteresting fast. The dungeon lengths and designs are never really awful but not ever super inspired, and are definitely more mid-/low-tier Zelda fare. None of the design is outright terrible (save for one awwwwwful joystick balancing mini-game around the game's midpoint), but it really does beg to be polished up in certain places.

The game also has some Star Fox flying segments awkwardly put into it as cool novelties/wastes of time when you go between the planet and the broken-off segments, and in a weird turn they even are used for the final boss fight. This game was a totally different game that had Star Fox put into it to help the GameCube release sell better, and these segments are very underwhelming and feel as slapped in to the gameplay loop as they indeed are. The final boss especially is a really weird choice, as it suddenly demands you start using a skill set the game has barely instilled in you at all, and the final boss ends up being pretty bad as a result. Boss fights aren't exactly the game's strong suit to begin with, but the final boss was definitely my least enjoyed out of the handful present.

Presentation-wise, it really is like an N64 game with GameCube graphics. It all looks fine and, Fox himself looks quite nice as a character model. The music is pretty damn good, as one would expect from even a not so great Rare game, but the Star Fox tunes feel super dissonant with the game's score otherwise in a way I didn't really dig. The game can hit some pretty bad framerate dips when you get to areas with lots of enemies and water, but it's never anything that prevents play, and even those dips I did get were very uncommon.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. This game is overall sorta the epitome of "fine", and while you probably won't hate it, I can't really see many people loving this game. If you can get it for cheap and the premise interests you (like it did me), then I'd say it could be worth your money, but I think for most people, they'll ultimately feel like their time was better spent elsewhere. While a neat historical curiosity, outside of some of the awful VA, Star Fox Adventures doesn't really manage to be all that memorable for being anything but a disappointing (i.e. not a successor to Star Fox 64) Star Fox game.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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